Nepal : Demonstration Unit MPC / CSW

The CSW technology is a smart, low tech and cost effective construction process for rural housing, inspired by vernacular stone wall architecture, as an alternative to RCC and brick masonry. The demo house was built by low-skilled labour over a period of 35 days.

 Ludovic Jonard (LinkedIn Jerome Skinazi (LinkedIn)
 Traductions disponibles : Français

The department of Architecture of the Tribhuvan University - Institute of Engineering trains every year more than 130 students in the field of construction. After the earthquake of 2015, the university strengthened its curriculum on earthquake-resistant technology and allocated a part of it’s land for the demonstration of earthquake resistant prototypes in order to inspire students and profesionnals.

The demo house built in Pulchowk campus provides 57m² of habitable space, for a 3-5 member household, with one room, which can be partitioned later to form two. The flexible layout responds to both domestic and livelihood needs and it includes a multi- functional attic that can be used for more bedding and grain storage.

This model is inspired by the National Building Code of Nepal 203 requirements and the DUDBC catalogue, but since further testing are still on going, the featured seismic provisions are subject to evolution.

Architecture&Développement took part in this process and built a 6,60m by 4,95m (21,18 sq.m of usable ground space) demonstration house, inspired by traditional nepalese rural habitat. The confined stone walls rises 2,5m above the ground. The upper attic floor is build with a lighter wooden structure, traditionally used as a strorage for the crops (19,36 sq.m). The mud plaster, while providing a protection for the wire mesh, regulates the thermal confort inside the building.

The demonstration house will be used by the university as a students association’s office. The CSW model demonstrates an efficient low-cost, low-tech, and safe solution for self-built reconstruction in rural Nepal with local materials.

Main Goals

  • Promote sustainable solutions for a safe and adapted reconstruction in rural areas
  • Help to develop and diffuse the CSW technology in Nepal by building a demonstration unit.
  • Inform and create awarness among architecture and engineering students on alternative technologies
  • Evaluate the capacity of this technology in Nepal in terms of social-economic reality in a context of reconstruction
  • Train a team of labors to the CSW technology

Mode opérationnel

  • Training a team of workers on CSW construction technic
  • Create a manual of construction
  • Compression, in-plane and out-plane resistance test
  • Building communitie centers in Dolakha district using the same technology


  • 229 sq.ft of living space on ground floor and 210 sq.ft of attic floor
  • 1695 cu.ft of stones and 120 cu.ft of wood
  • 1860 ru.ft of wire mesh equivalent to 3347 sq.ft of wire mesh
  • 123 cages folded and assembled
  • 3 days of work for 5 labors / row


Risques Climatiques  Développement Rural  Reconstruction Post-Crise  Formation-Chantier École  Recherche & Développement

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